Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Courtesy Reuters

Out for Gold and Blood in Sudan

Letter from Jebel Amir

In April 2012, a small team of wandering miners discovered gold in the Jebel Amir hills of North Darfur, Sudan. One of the mines was so rich -- it reportedly brought millions of dollars to its owners -- that it was nicknamed “Switzerland.” Diggers rushed in from all over Sudan, as well as from the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. After a much-publicized visit by Sudan’s mining minister and the governor of North Darfur state, their number may have reached 100,000. With the gold trade came criminals carrying “arms of every caliber,” a local who would prefer to go unnamed …

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